The Big Picture: baby steps and giant leaps

By: Annie Sragner, Assistant Arts and Life Editor

Something that has been on my mind over break is the concept of baby steps versus giant leaps. Whether an action or event is considered minute or massive is all a matter of perspective. And the basis of that perspective is affected by our individual backgrounds and environmental feedback, from both society and nature.

Take, for example, the caretakers who ensure that our school buildings are constantly presentable. These folks typically conduct their work behind the scenes or after class hours, so they do not always receive the recognition or appreciation that their work deserves. It may seem small to some, but our campus would look drastically different in a matter of hours or days without their work. We appreciate their efforts without even realizing it.

Our campus is a very beautiful place compared to many other schools. We have footpaths and gorgeous landscaping with thriving and articulated shrubbery everywhere. Picking up a few pieces of trash around campus may seem like unglamorous baby steps, but that act makes its contribution to the grand scale by creating a stunning picture.

This same phenomenon occurs in student life. Every assignment, quiz or test is a baby step toward that glorious giant leap across the graduation stage with degree in hand. Our inflexible academic routine has us cyclically taking notes, climbing stairs, going here, going there. The mindless hectic activity can sometimes obscure the long-term reward, making it seem distant and fruitless. Our end goals are what keep us interested in our future.

Picture in your mind your individual image of ultimate happiness. Is it a big house? A big family? A passport full of stamps from exotic locations?   You’ve just identified your intention. Now you have to formulate your M.O.of reaching it.

Life is a series of small decisions, but they’re all doorways to different futures. It is the little decisions like whether to hang out with a friend or finish up your homework that can change your fate.

We often don’t recognize the little events as cosmically significant until they’re in our rear view mirror. That is why staying anchored to the present moment is vital. Thinking too far ahead can bring useless worry and anxiety. Why sacrifice the present moment and compromise your ability to make vivid memories out of the now?

The next time you get discouraged or doubtful about your ability to get to the next level, picture that image of ultimate happiness you just thought of, and give it a name. Say “The Mansion” or “The Family” or “The Passport”, then figure out how to get it. Add relentless belief and hard work, and it will happen sooner or later. Short term efforts pays off in the long term.

 

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